Three Eve Appel Short Mysteries, by Lesley A. Diehl
“The Little Redheaded Girl is my Friend”:
Eve Appel was an original long before she bought her clothing consignment store in rural Florida. After her parents are killed in a boating accident, she goes to live with her grandmother, “Grandy,” in Connecticut. Already a trendsetter, Eve is also taller and braver than most of her grade school classmates. It isn’t long before she meets the girl who will become her best friend—Madeleine. Petite and redheaded, Madeleine is clumsy but no pushover. Together they foil bullying students, bigoted teachers, and when they reach high school, the class lech.
While still in college, Madeleine and Eve seize the chance to tackle their first mystery. Their neighborhood drugstore is the target of a shoplifter, and naturally the local young people are suspect. That means they and their friends can’t shop there anymore without security dogging their every step. After solving the case and settling an old score at the same time, Madeleine and Eve are left with a serious taste for sleuthing.
“Thieves and Gators Run at the Mention of her Name”:
Fed up with her cheating husband, Eve Appel decides to leave her home in Connecticut and join her friend Madeleine in Sabal Bay, Florida, as a partner in a consignment shop. But Eve is not prepared for rural Florida, with gators constantly underfoot, scrubby palm trees, and swamp and prairie as far as the eye can see. No sooner have they unlocked their new storefront when someone tries to break in. What is the thief after, they wonder, when all that’s in the store are naked mannequins and dress racks? As usual, Eve is ready to tackle the mystery head-on, with Madeleine dragged reluctantly behind.
Eve Appel and her best friend Madeleine run a consignment shop together in rural Florida. Madeleine is also an author, and now she wants to switch from writing children’s books to mystery novels. So she drags Eve to a writers’ conference, hoping her friend will bolster her confidence during her big pitch to an agent. It soon looks as if Eve isn’t going to make that appointment. A case of mistaken identity results in her agreeing to pose as the person she has been mistaken for. It doesn’t hurt that the special agent assigned to the case is a hunk. When his plan to keep her from harm goes awry, Eve finds herself in the trunk of a car, en route to the swamps, where the hungry alligators await their dinner.
Lesley A. Diehl retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office. Back north, she devotes her afternoons to writing and, when the sun sets, relaxing on the bank of her trout stream, sipping tea or a local microbrew.
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